How Steve Borthwick's England will play

As is his way, Steve Borthwick applied the F-word and the C-word – “fight” and “clarity”, nothing bluer – generously on Monday as he unveiled England’s 36-man squad for the Six

Nations. In his own words, the 43-year-old is staunchly process-driven. Previously, he has voiced reluctance to glance in the rear-view mirror at what happened before his

appointment. With that in mind, then, one brief yet deliberate reference to last autumn was as scathing as Borthwick is ever likely to be in a public forum.  “The reality

is, when the pressure came on and things went wrong, or they were challenged, the England team did not have the clarity to move forward,” he said. “That’s a point the players have

said to me many times, so what do we need at the start of the Six Nations? The players need clarity on how they’re going to play.”  In harness with Kevin Sinfield, Nick

Evans and Richard Cockerill, Borthwick will aim to deliver a template that accentuates the attributes of the players at his disposal. As he said himself, each individual selected

possesses at least one “outstanding super-strength”. This first squad gives us a window into England’s approach and how their game could come together. Back-five

speed Without injuries to Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tom Curry, Borthwick would have picked every member of the starting pack from England’s last Calcutta Cup encounter. A year ago,

with Nick Isiekwe in the second row and Lewis Ludlam and Sam Simmonds together, the visitors carved out a 17-10 lead at Murrayfield before imploding. Borthwick would appear to be

keen on a similarly mobile pack to face Scotland on Feb 4.